Saturday , April 1 2023

Schouten asks again for islands’ family allowance

The Daily Herald writes that member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Carola Schouten of the ChristianUnion (CU) has again asked the Dutch government to introduce an allowance for families with children on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.Schouten did so during the handling of the 2015 draft budget of Social Affairs and Employment on Wednesday.

During the handling of the budget of the same ministry last year, she had made a similar call. Parliament adopted her motion at the time, asking government to research the possibilities of converting the child fiscal reduction to a family allowance.

In a follow-up to that motion, State Secretary of Social Affairs and Employment Jetta Klijnsma informed the Second Chamber on Tuesday (See the article in Saba News from yesterday) that she had started consultations with the Executive Councils of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba on setting up an allowance for families with children.

Klijnsma proposed an amount around US $20 per child per month. The Executive Councils have objected to this proposal,the state secretary confirmed in her letter. The Dutch government is willing to introduce a fixed family allowance, “kinderbijslag” in Dutch, but it wants to do so in a budget-neutral manner, which is about US $20.

The Executive Councils have not only objected to the height of the amount, but also to the fact that the proposal, if implemented, would mean a drawback for the families that are currently making use of the fiscal deduction of US $38 per child per month.

The state secretary stated that talks with the Executive Councils would continue about the height of the amount and the timeframe of the implementation. She acknowledged that lowerincome families could hardly make use of the current tax deduction of US $38, which is applied via the income tax.

During the budget handling on Wednesday, Member of the Second Chamber Schouten said that her party found it “unjust” that people with no or very little income didn’t get the fiscal deduction for their children. She pointed out that in the Netherlands, everyone received a contribution towards the cost of living of their children.

Schouten said she was happy to have learned that the Labour Party PvdA also agreed that there should be an allowance for families with children in the Caribbean Netherlands, instead of a tax deduction for children. “That is great. That is why I again ask government to implement this allowance for the islands,” she said.

Today, Thursday, the handling of the draft budget of Social Affairs and Employment will continue.


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